This product received a 4 star rating from The Prepared Ninja!
First of I would like to say that I did not realize how useful a power inverter would be in the car until I had one. Now I don’t know how I went so long without having it. I have used the POWERDRIVE 100D to charge and run my laptop, iPhone, kid’s Nintendo DS’s and our iPad in the car to name a few things. The inverter works great and has never given me any problems. I routinely use it for work where I will run my computer off of the AC outlet while my iPhone is hooked up to the USB port at the same time without issue. Now according to the specifications provided by the manufacturer using my laptop alone exceeds the capacity of the inverter but this thing handles it like a champ!
The premise of the inverter of course it to convert 12-volt DC power from your vehicle’s battery into 110-volt household AC power. This inverter is rated to handle household AC powered items that are rated up to 100 watts. The AC outlet can take two prong or three prong AC cords. One of the great things that I have enjoyed about this particular product as well is that it has a swivel plug that allows the inverter to be adjusted up and down making rather convenient and accommodating to different vehicles and different typed of AC plugs.
The exact model for this inverter is the POWERDRIVE RPPD100D. It carries a retail price of $24.99. Found mine on clearance at Pilot for $3.00 though! It also has some great features including:
-Operating Indicator: Green LED Indicator on top of your inverter will light to indicate power to your inverter.
-Current Overload Protection: If the inverter is overloaded, it will shut down to protect itself. To restore normal operation, disconnect the excessive load and turn the unit off and disconnect the plug.
-Low Voltage Protection: If the input voltage drops to 10.5V or less, the inverter will shut down to protect the battery. To restore normal operation, return the DC input voltage to at least 12V. The inverter will automatically return to normal operation.
-High Voltage Protection: If the DC input voltage rises above 15 volts, the inverter will shut down to protect itself. To restore normal operation, return the DC input voltage to less than 15 volts. The inverter will automatically return to normal operation. (Although the inverter has protection against over-voltage, it may still be damaged if the input voltage were to exceed 16 volts.)
-Over Temperature Protection: If the inverters internal temperature rises to 104ºF, the inverter will shut down to protect itself. (Internal inverter temperature can rise due to being operated in a high heat environment or due to the fan or vents being blocked during operation (even in relatively cool outside air). To restore normal operation, turn the unit off and allow it to cool. The inverter will automatically return to normal operation after it has cooled.)
-USB Outlet: The USB outlet will supply 5 volts at 500ma to charge and power cell phones, iPods® and other small electronics.
-Operating Limits/Power Output: The inverter can deliver 100 watts for about 60 minutes. The inverter must cool for 15 minutes before it can resume operation at 100 watts. (Operating time will vary depending upon the type, capacity charge level of the battery, and the power draw of the AC products you are using. With a normal vehicle battery and a 100 watt load (such as a small television) you can expect an operating time of 2 to 3 hours. It is recommended that you start your vehicle once an hour when using the RPPD100D for extended periods of time.)
PROS – Small, Lightweight, and Portable. Versatile.
CONS – Would be nice if there was an inverter model that provided more wattage without needing to be hardwired. This is not a unique problem to the POWERDRIVE brand though.
The POWERDRIVE 100D Inverter can be purchased at Amazon.com, The Andersons, Boss eStore, Love’s Travel Stops, Pilot Travel Centers, and Wilco.